New to the turntable game...
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punosion

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Hello all you turntable freaks,

In the near future, I am considering purchasing a turntable. I'm a DJ but I haven't yet started to collect much vinyl, but I expect this to change once my finances soon allow. I would like to be able to archive all my vinyl tunes, so I am considering starting off with an audiophile turntable. Maybe get into vinyl just for the pure joy, and start purchasing LP's


The reason I am considering starting off with an audiophile turntable is because I'm sure that, with the money, I'd be able to get better sound out of one of those than simply getting a Technics. By starting off with an audiophile turntable, I'll be able to archive my tunes as soon as I acquire them, be able to spin them on my CD decks, and not worry too much about what happens to my vinyl. Not to say I'll treat them bad, but who knows how well-kept other people's turntables are? I'd also be able to have a turntable for pure listening purposes.

I don't really want to spend over $500 on the table itself, but with all the accessories I need to get, I'm planning on spending up to $1000 maximum. I am going to order this from Needledoctor, so I can drive myself to Minneapolis to pick it up. I am considering the MusicHall MMF-5. They also carry the Pro-ject RM-4, which seems like a fine turntable, as well.

From what I have read, some people have had complaints with the MMF-5's tonearm, but it comes with a supposedly great Goldring cartridge. The Pro-ject seems to have a better tonearm (the one on the Pro-ject RM-9), even though I'd have to spend more money on it, as it comes without a cartridge. For my style of music (again this will be mainly for archiving electronic music), do you think I could go with the Pro-ject and get a better cartridge than the Goldring that comes with the MMF-5?

What about the phono stage? I'm considering one of the NAD or Creek phonos...any others around the ~$200 range worth considering? I'm going to be recording the vinyl with an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card, so would I be better off going from the phono stage directly to the sound card, or should I consider getting an Art DI/O between the phono and sound card? What are the benefits to using an Art DI/O? I'm guessing the digital to computer would be cleaner...

Ack, sorry for so many questions! I'd think that after reading post after post here and VinylAsylum, some of my questions would be answered. Of course not, they just bring up more questions! I like get "bang-for-the-buck," but I also want to spend the money on quality components, so I can buy it once and not feel "upgradeitis." So, all you vinyl freaks...HELP!

Thanks!


EDIT: After reading this post, maybe I'll re-consider my sound card selection.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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MMF-5... that's the one I will get whenever I get into vinyl...
 
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Jim R

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I am thinking about getting one of Doc Bottlehead's new phone stages. If you can do some simple soldering, it should be a pretty nice phone amp for $225. I would be pretty surprised if it doesn't beat most of the commercial alternatives in this price range.

http://www.bottlehead.com/et/adobesp.../seduction.htm
 
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Dan H

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I'm not with you on this one Nick. The MMF-5 is just OK at best IMHO.
Am thinking punosion would be better off with a used Rega with cartrage spending most of the 1K on the table. Buy a cheap phono for now. Rega 25's are going for ~$1200.00 used, truly a killer table.
 
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Masz

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Quote:

Originally posted by punosion
From what I have read, some people have had complaints with the MMF-5's tonearm, but it comes with a supposedly great Goldring cartridge. The Pro-ject seems to have a better tonearm (the one on the Pro-ject RM-9), even though I'd have to spend more money on it, as it comes without a cartridge.


Actually the Pro-ject RM-9 comes with the carbon fibre Project 9 tonearm. The only one in the Pro-ject series it seems.
 
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TimSchirmer

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Okay...

your resident vinyl fiend is here...

For you, since you are a DJ, I would NOT recommend the MMF-5 at all. Let's be real here, DJ's need direct drive, for obvious reliability reasons.

Don't get me wrong though, the best of the best tables are indeed belt driven, but there are some very fine direct drive tables out there. Since you are just getting into this, i would have to reccommend one of the vintage Denon tables (the DP-6000 is @#$@ing awesome) not to mention, you could buy a matching one later in the game, since denon produced quite a great deal of these. They sound pretty awesome for the price, just ask acidtripwow.

Make sure not to get anything below the Denon DP57 though.

Look for the DP-1200, DP-2000, DP-3000 .etc as those were the audiophile models.

It would also be wise to get a nice MC cartridge to go with it. I know a lot of uber- suave DJ's out there are using sumiko blue point specials now, but that is not necessarily the best deal out there. If you can find any dynavectors, or a Denon DL-103, they are all excellent cartridges.

If you must get a technics, get 1200 and do the tonearm upgrades from kabusa.

I would also advise getting a record cleaning machine, or at least one of those disc doctor kits, as vinyl does get dirty.


Edit:

Okay, forget everything I just said. I noticed your budget was 1000$

[size=small]go get an LP12 NOW[/size]

Seriously... LP12's are some of the most awesome tables out there. Just make sure that when you do get one, that it already has a good power supply, and the Ittock tonearm. Even if you don't like the table, the resale value is so high that you wouldn't have any losses. Honestly, a stock LP12 would sound better than any table at the same price point.

then again...

The Technics SP10 should also be a serious consideration. It is just as good as the LP12 IMHO. I think there is one on eBay right now for under 500$, with an arm and power supply. (and what looks like a phono preamp) This is most likely a better value than the LP12, since the LP12 is so hyped these days

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1383752521

But, for the DJ thing, denons are still cool.

I hope this helps!
 
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punosion

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Just to clarify, TimSchirmer, I will be getting a pair of the DJ-standard Technics 1200's (M3D because I don't like the middle "click") when funds will allow. But, I am in the market for a good-sounding table so I can archive all my vinyl and just listen to it without messing around with the mixer and all that. Plus, I'm not interested in "spinning" with this deck. I heard you can modify the 1200 to achieve quite good sound, but I think I could spend the money on a turntable without all the "utilitarian" features and more sound quality to start with. Probably too much explaining early-on, sorry


Masz, you're right...the Pro-ject RM-4 comes with the tonearm off the Wood Classic and Perspective table.

It would be key if I could get the table from Needledoctor, and the ones I mentioned in my original post (MMF-5 and RM-4) are available there. There's also a Bluenote table for $695, a Denon DP-47F for $650, a Rega Planar 3 for $750, and a Thorens TD-190 for $570, among others.

Any thoughts? Help me out here...I wanna spend my money wisely the first time!
 
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darkclouds

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Check out audiogon dealers for a MMF 7. That's what considering myself. Comes complete with Goldring cart and project 9 tonearm for $849. This way, I just have to pick up a phono stage and not worry about upgrade for quite a while.

Although, I do like the way the project rm4 looks though. But it worries me about upgrade.
 
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Hirsch

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I was able to find an MMF-7 demo unit without cartridge from Decibel Audio ($600 on ebay). I put a Dynavector 10x Gold L on it, and it's a nice table. It uses the ProJect 9 arm (not the carbon fiber variant).
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Nick Dangerous
Dan H: I'd eventually upgrade yanno... starting small.


Hmmm...avoid the Music Halls then. I deliberately got one because I've been mostly digital lately, and felt the best way to avoid dumping money into an upgrade path was to deny myself an upgrade path (I've still got my Ariston, now repaired with parts from Linn, if I want to do some table tweaking). Try and find a used HW-19 (I've seen them seriously cheap on ebay) or even VPI HW-19 Jr...they can be upgraded to current specs, as long as you're willing to keep sending money to VPI...
 
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Mystyler

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What about the Technics SL1200?
 
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I have had the Music Hall MMF-5 for about 1 1/2 years.
It is the best buy in turntable cartridge. Sound is outstanding.
The Goldring 1012GX rocks.

Only problem I have with the MMF5 is the tonearm counterweight. It's adjustment is way off and difficult. You must use a stylus force gauge with this turntable, you MUST. In fact, you should with any turntable. The Shure is available in many places for about $20 or so.


I absolutely love the MMF-5. The sound over a Technics SL1700 with Audio Technica or Grado Red was stunning. The Grado Red stank in comparison.

I use a ROTEL phone stage for my system. About $200 retail, and worth every penny.

The audio cable from the turntable to preamp is fixed, and works fine.

I had to replace the stylus once, not because of wear, but because I used a noted stylus clear often. Some web or usenet people said this brand ruined their stylus damping. I agree. 3 weeks after I started using it, the sound deteriorated. I through it away.

I think the MMF5 is a bargain. Love it. Knock on wood (hits head).

I also firmly believe in record care. I use the Audio Advisor Record Doctor II vacuum record cleaner machine. THis is also a MUST.
NOTHING else works like a machine, and I don't care what the system is.

Vinyl is nice, but be aware that it has a limited availability. And many rock albums from the past, used, are hammered. You need a system to match the vinyl too. Many people are better off with a good cd player and cables.

Audio Advisor has a 30 day return on even turntables. Do not use the turntable without a stylus force guage. And also go to your local Home Depot and get a small bubble level. The one built into the turntable is ok, but you should measure level on the platter, not the plinth.
 
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TimSchirmer

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still... that technics sp10 is awesome, and i gurantee that it will sound better than the music hall.
 
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